Comfort and Joy!


Sister Samuella's Stats

Birthplace: Mt. Sterling, Ill.

Years of profession: 48

Places she taught:

  • St. Patrick School, Springfield, Ill.
  • St. Joseph School, Bradley, Ill.
  • St. Joseph School, Granite City, Ill.
  • St. Maurice School, Morrisonville, Ill.
  • Alfred Fortin Villa, Bourbonnais, Ill.
  • Holy Rosary School, Duluth, Ill.

One Christmas, a ringing phone brought welcome news to the Volk family in Mt. Sterling, Illinois: Dick was on his way home from war! For Sister Mary Samuella Volk, the comfort and joy of her brother’s safe return that Christmas still captures the feeling she experiences every Christmas.

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and receive more great stories!

Christmas was always a big deal for her family, Sister Samuella says, but because of Dick’s homecoming in December 1943, every Christmas since includes the joy of that one at its core. In fact, she says, every Christmas holds every joy she ever experienced in all her family Christmases: The anticipation of reunion, the comforting smells of holiday treats, the simple tasks of home-making, the joy of gifts and giving!

Even during lean times for her large family, Sister Samuella says there was always room for another at the table and one more simple gift to give.

The comfort and joy of Christmas breaks through when we open our arms in the spirit of giving and work together for the comfort and joy of all—no matter the state of our nation, or world.

A gift from you this month during our Comfort and Joy Christmas Appeal will inspire us for months to come and help ensure our senior sisters have what they need after selfless decades of service to children and families in the United States and Peru.

We are so grateful for your support! Thank you! And Merry Christmas!

We believe, that like the reunion of the Volk family around her brother’s wartime homecoming, the unifying energy of Jesus’ love and compassion calls all of us—you and us—to be a source of comfort and joy for the world.

We are blessed to count YOU as a partner in this mission—May we humbly request your support during this joyful season?

Your Christmas gift provides:

  • Hope & encouragement for our senior sisters
  • Equipment and software to personalize the care we provide for them
  • Compassion for those who feel alone and alienated from society

Every online donor receives a special thank you gift: More of Sister Samuella sharing her stories from more than a half-century teaching primary school children. Don't miss it!


Thank you!

Stories from The Book

Sister Samuella Volk holds in her hands cherished memories of a lifetime in the classroom.

She treasures, and keeps handy in her room, a 1950s-era Penworthy brand spiral-bound notebook. Worn from countless thumbings, The Book has aged gracefully throughout its owner’s 68 years’ of consecrated life. The pages are gentled by decades of loving touch. They no longer crinkle when you turn them, but fall softly, edges worn to the patina that often shines from beloved objects.

Donate online for more video stories about Sister Samuella's life in primary school!

Every page of The Book holds hundreds of stories. Here we share three, over the course of the Comfort and Joy Christmas Appeal. Three stories to spark your imagination about the impact of this One Life on the lives of more than one thousand students in her One Book.

We hope they will inspire you to join growing team of Partners in Mission whose generous giving makes it possible for our sisters to continue providing inspirational, transformative ministry for The Life of the World.

Visit this page throughout the month of December as each story is revealed here!

Thank You for Making an Impact: Sister Samuella is Thrilled

This is a copy of Sister Samuella's hometown newspaper, the Mt. Sterling Democrat-Message, from January 11, 1950. The BIG NEWS, ...
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Billy Chritchley-Menor, #1,582

“It’s so good to be with her,” Billy said on a windy spring day four years ago. He could scarcely ...
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Lori Kirchman, #781

When you are six, grown-ups can be scary. Sister Samuella was not a scary grown-up. That’s what Springfield Dominican Sister ...
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Leo Lenn: Page One

The first thing 8-year-old Leo noticed about his third-grade teacher was that she was small. This is true! Sister Samuella ...
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Advent and Christmas:
Seasons that Never End

  Once Thanksgiving rolls around, there is hardly a resident of the United States who can escape the tidal wave ...
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